An epic day of poetry at Chatham Dockyard

Photo of writers
Writers in residence (photo by Nicole Mollett)

Sam and Baz were part of The Kent Cultural Baton’s FUSE festival One Day Works on 6 June. We spent the whole day in the historic Dockyard writing poems inspired by the history since the Dockyard closed in 1984.

We have each made a poem and here are a couple of extracts showing our different approaches.

It was a nice experience to be in the baton and concentrate a whole day to writing, aided by the Dockyard’s atmosphere of memories and place.

The aim was to write a 30-verse poem charting the past 30 years, including Medway, world and personal events. We both took different approaches, and ended up writing two poems that are still growing and await a bit of cogitation and editing:

Delta 3.0

I
400 years more or less
Summoned by the tide
Summoned by bells
Summoned by sirens
The swarm had come
Knowing their role
Caulkers, carpenters and cranemen
Tied to their aprons always
At their work, at their play

Delta 3.0 redux

(1984)
I sleep unawares,
Innocent chrysalis, for
Whom does that bell toll?

The Baton will be out and about during Fuse – you can find more information here.

 

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